The Reopening Ontario Act (ROA) left clear the measurements for Toronto’s public places, permitting only outdoor patios.But at this time of the year where temperatures reach -20 degrees Celcius it is hard to keep the customers interested on staying outsite.
Such is the case of Cafe Diplomatico, a restaurant that has been in Toronto for 53 years and its owner Rocco MAstrangelo Jr. mentions in an interview for CTV Toronto that this restrictions are “destroying my life”
Mastrangelo commented that it has been difficult for him to keep his business afloat after so many restrictions and uncertainty. “I had to lay off [my employees] for the first time in March 2020. It was the hardest thing to do. Not only that, I have to lay them off again now,” affirms Mastrangelo in an interview with CTV News Toronto.
For the most part, Mastrangelo’s concern is that a large part of his customers cannot enjoy the experience as they used to. Since only a limited number of people can be outdoors he ensures that with the cold, it is very difficult for people to want to sit down to eat their food.
To improve the situation, the owner of the Italian restaurant decided to open his patio. A heated space with a retractable roof was a hit receiving plenty of comments on their social media such as Instagram.
“Your Covid patio was incredible. A cozy reminder of “normal” Plz hang in there” _iamtonyb
halfmoonbay172019 commented “Love the winter patio idea-hang in there until re-opening!! You’re top of my list when I come to visit TO!!”
Cafe Diplomatico was shut down last week because the space was not in compliance with the ROA rules. The outdoor patios are only permitted so long as two full sides of the area are open to the outdoors. And the patio must have two dully open sides to the outdoors. Wich Cafe Diplomatico didn’t have.
On their Instagram account Cafe Diplomatico recently announced that the takeouts service will continue until the reopining Jan 31.
There are many new restaurants and recreational patios that are having the same luck as Cafe Diplomatico. And many of them have been able to adapt to the new situation by keeping the space open, suitable for restrictions, and attractive to customers.
An example of this is the new Archeo patio which, adapting to the climate, has adopted the example of a winter patio by adding roaring fire pits, vintage ski decor, faux furs, and white chalets. Making this a unique experience similar to being in The Alps called The Aprez Ski Patio.